Aikaterini Gari & Vassiliki Nikolopoulou, Department of Psychology, National and Kapodistrian University of Athens
A great online scientific event was organized in December 14, 2020 by the Laboratory for Creativity Development (http://en.psych.uoa.gr/research/laboratories/creativity-lab.html), one of the ETSN Talent Points in Athens, Greece, in collaboration with the Anavryta Experimental Gymnasium (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anavryta_Experimental_Gymnasium) established in 1940 in Athens, and the “Hellenic Society for the Educational provision for the Creative / Gifted / Talented Children and Adolescents” (http://www.gifted.gr).
The motive of planning such an event has been the “15th Year Anniversary” of the above hellenic society, which started its activities in 2005, in the areas of psychological research and psychoeducational interventions regarding high ability, talented and twice-exceptional individuals. The presentations analysed the dimensions of differentiated instruction contribution in educating gifted and talented students, and also the twice-exceptional students. Two keynote speakers, Diamanto Filippatou, Associate Professor of the National University of Athens, and Panagiota Dimitropoulou, Assistant Professor of the University of Crete, Greece, focused on theoretical issues of differentiating teaching, as well as differentiating teaching strategies and techniques in regard to different age groups of all students, and also high ability children and adolescents.
Since the first announcement of this scientific event, primary and secondary education teachers response has been great. Approximately 480 teachers and educators finally participated derived from state schools all around Greece, and especially from small cities and towns. The emotional climate of the whole school community of that period, under the specific circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic, and especially with schools closed without a clear schedule of reopening, may highly motivated teachers to participate in an event of positive perspective. During a long discussion that followed the presentations, most of the participants revealed their need to aquire more information and also take systematic training on giftedness and talent, and also on primary education twice-exceptional students; They also notified their actual difficulties to provide them support for confronting with their special and/or unique needs.
It remains as a demand for all of us, staff members of this Talent Point, to find alternative and “more promising ways” of meeting these teachers’ needs and fulfill their high motivation to be trained.